Portland competes for $50M grant for street grid

Portland competing with Columbus, Kansas City, Denver, Austin, San Francisco

FILE - In this May 13, 2015, file photo, Google's new self-driving prototype car is presented during a demonstration at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. The self-driving cars needed some old-fashioned human intervention to avoid some crashes during testing on California roads, the company revealed Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, results it says are encouraging but show the technology has yet to reach the goal of not needing someone behind the wheel. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The city of Portland is a finalist for a $50 million grant to build a street grid to help promote self-driving cars and other alternatives to driving.

The Oregonian reports that U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced at the South by Southwest Interactive technology conference in Austin, Texas, that Portland and six other cities have been selected as a finalist for the department’s Smart Cities Challenge.

Portland has proposed building street grids with sensors and data transmitters to communicate with connected vehicles. Portland’s proposal aslo includes an app to promote alternatives to driving based on data collected from the grid.

The other finalists are Columbus, Ohio, Kansas City, Missouri, Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin and San Francisco.

Mercedes-Benz F 015
 In this January 2015 file photo, attendees sit in the self-driving Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept car at the Mercedes-Benz booth at the International CES, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

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